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Towards an Integrated Marine and Maritime Science Community

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Cooperation for marine science and associated industry

A large European consortium established a forum for cooperation in marine and maritime research and technology. Interactions on all levels and across regions should ensure sustainable development of the seas and oceans.

Climate Change and Environment

Marine science or oceanography is the study of the seas and oceans. Major topics of interest include ecosystems, physical structures, chemical compositions and even interactions with the atmosphere. Cooperation between marine scientists and maritime industries, including shipping, aquaculture and fishing, is critical to sustainable industrial development. The Aberdeen Plus interest group joined forces with the Venice Platform group to establish a sustainable partnership, the European Marine and Maritime Science and Technology Forum, with EU funding of the project 'Towards an integrated marine and maritime science community' (Marcom+). The consortium sought to develop mutually beneficial relationships among the research community, industry, regional authorities and society from local to pan-European levels and issues based on shared interest and shared leadership. In order to accomplish this, the partners studied European research and policy initiatives and developed common areas of interest. In addition, scientists assessed tools for regional research governance. They also analysed numerous marine–maritime cooperation case studies to identify failures and successes. The European Marine and Maritime Science and Technology Forum was officially launched in March 2012 under the leadership of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). ICES is an international scientific community of over 1 600 scientists from 200 institutes whose focus, marine ecosystems and their relation to humanity, is in complete harmony with the vision of the Forum. Since its establishment, the Forum has played an important role in analyses of potential research synergies and requirements as well as of societal, governmental and industrial needs. From identification of stimulants to the pursuit of cross-cutting topics and potential funding, the Forum is fostering sustainable relationships among stakeholders in marine and maritime science and technology. The European Marine and Maritime Science and Technology Forum established with EU funding of the Marcom+ project represents a sustainable partnership for sustainable exploitation of Europe's seas and oceans. It will no doubt play a significant role in the establishment of an integrated EU maritime policy.

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